TCU’s decision to settle for a field goal with 6:59
remaining in the game, trailing Kansas
State 23-0, set off a debate
among fans and media alike. Some thought it was a wave of the white flag, an
admission of giving up on winning. Others claimed the Horned Frogs were more
concerned about preventing their first shutout at home since 1992, than trying
to rally for a win.
TCU coach Gary Patterson dismissed the notion that the Horned Frogs had accepted defeat, but did say getting on the scoreboard was a factor.
“It’s fourth-and-16, you don’t want to get shutout, you kick a field goal,” Patterson said Sunday, characterizing it a non-issue. “Not by anybody who knows anything about football would make anything of it. Every time we dropped back we got sacked. Are you kidding?”
In fact, quarterback Trevone Boykin had just been sacked on consecutive plays to bring up the four-and-long situation. Another reason to call for the kick? To give freshman and Arlington Martin ex Jaden Oberkrom a chance to hit a 35-yarder after missing four of his previous five attempts. The prospect of waiting 10 days to play Texas on Thanksgiving night after being shut out could have also influenced the decision. TCU did go for it on fourth-and-9 on its next possession but Boykin was stopped short after a seven-yard run.
The Frogs did finally get it in the end zone after recovering a fumble inside Kansas State’s 40. Brandon Carter scored on a 19-yard pass with 27 seconds left in the game to make the final 23-10.
-- Stefan Stevenson